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Small Rotator Cuff Repair (Arthroscopic or ‘Mini Open’)


Repair tears of supraspinatus tendon up to 1.5cm


Up to 3 weeks. Wean out at 3 weeks.

Teach axilla hygiene and washing out of sling

May mobilise out of sling avoiding flexion/abduction as comfortable from day 1


Avoid active recruitment of supraspinatus against resistance for up to 3 weeks

From day 1:           

Hand and elbow exercises- active and passive


Active external rotation

Shoulder shrugs and scapula setting


3-6 weeks:             

Passive ROM stretches as pain allows. DO NOT force or over stretch

Isometric cuff exercises

Active assisted flexion- aim for 50% of normal by 6 weeks

Avoid straight arm lifting in to flexion or abduction

Light ADLs by week 6 at waist level


After week 6:        

Gently progress to active strengthening of cuff as pain allows

Encourage head centring in glenoid by supraspinatus

Closed chain exercises

Gentle progression of ROM. Stretches in to full flexion, abduction and ER. IR last.

Gentle manual stretches to regain full ROM



Swimming from 10 weeks (front crawl from 12-14 weeks)

Non-contact sports and free swimming 12 weeks

Golf from 4 months

Contact and racquet sports from 6 months



Short distances from 6-8 weeks as pain allows

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